Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing sees interest in North Yorkshire seaside village become ‘ballistic’


The interest of potential visitors in a seaside village in North Yorkshire has ‘turned ballistic’ since it was featured on the hugely popular BBC fishing show Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

The comedic duo of Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse stayed at Staithes for two nights as part of their Christmas special and since its airing, local hotels and cottages have been inundated with requests for rooms.

The episode, titled Christmas fishing party, was the first time the series’ hilarious and poignant mix of peach and light banter between the two comedy veterans was filmed in Yorkshire.

The day after the show aired last weekend, searches on the Independent Cottages website for self-catering accommodation in Staithes were 400% higher than the same day the year before, The Guardian reported.

A view over Staithes in North Yorkshire

“The high level of interest gives a much needed boost to vacation cottage owners who have had a difficult and uncertain year when it comes to bookings and cancellations,” said Sarah Jarvis of Independent Cottages.

The couple spent their nights in The Fisherman’s Cottages on Cowbar Bank; right by the sea in the picturesque village.

Owner Jackie Ambrosini said she received 20 requests from potential guests while the show was on air, but had to turn them down as the chalets are located in the small part of the village that is under administration of Redcar and Cleveland, which is a Level 3 Region.

She said: “It’s ironic. The village has become popular thanks to the program but unfortunately our cabins are at level 3.

“We are separated from the main part of Staithes by a catwalk. The rest of Staithes are having a good time and everyone on our side is on level 3, so there isn’t much we can do.”

The majority of the village is on level 2 in North Yorkshire.

Ms Ambrosini said the show’s co-hosts and the whole crew were “lovely” and happy to talk to locals during their stay.

She said: “As they walked over to the boat to go fishing, they made an effort to talk to everyone. They loved Staithes.

“A lot of times with the film crews you find that they come into an area and want to chew on you and spit you out, but they were really thoughtful and non-intrusive. They just introduced themselves as two guys who wanted to go fishing. “

She said their visit and the appearance of the village on the show made a “real difference” to inquiries, which “is probably what people need right now.”

“Local businesses needed a boost and I hope this increase in interest helps.”

Local tour guide Sean Baxter also told The Guardian that interest had “turned ballistic” since the show’s air date and welcomed the influx of visitors to the “wonderful and old-fashioned village”.

In the episode, Mortimer and Whitehouse board a small Staithes vessel to fish in the North Sea, before heading east to Osmotherley.

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